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4. Physical course catalogs.

Again, thanks to the proliferation of online digital tools available through easy-interface and low-cost software, student course options are now available on campus websites. But that wasn’t always the norm.

“Prior to the first semester of my freshman year of college, my dad came home from work one day with a very large stack of paper. It was hundreds of pages thick and it looked like it had killed a forest. When he handed me the papers, I looked down to see that it was my school’s course catalog. Didn’t he realize that I could access all of this online without wasting a single sheet of paper? With everything digitized, students can access all of the next semesters’ classes with a click of a button. Syllabi are usually posted online as well as a copy of books they will be reading, with links on how to purchase them. Not only that, but students can also access websites that rate and review particular professors and classes. It’s awesome.” –Schulson.

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5. Tours (traditional).

Thanks to recent advances in video technology, as well as digital signage, student-hosted campus tours and question-and-answer sessions—formerly constrained to how chatty the tour leader felt that day–are starting to become less of a necessity thanks to campus virtual tours and online social networks (Twitter, Facebook and campus community forums).

“One of the things I dreaded most about my college search experience was the physical tour. I hated that all the other students already going to that college knew I was still in high school. I was extremely shy, and what compounded that shyness was the fact that my dad was not shy. He insisted on going with me on the tours and would whip out his video camera, shouting to ‘stand by the coffee shop, kiddo!’ and ‘Hey, stinker! Ask the guide if they have any good bars!’ I was mortified. There was no Facebook yet, no Twitter, no virtual tours available to me and my crippling shyness. I hear that some universities now intentionally separate out parents from student orientation, specifically because they don’t want the ‘helicopter parent’ thing happening. Man…sounds nice!” – Meris Stansbury, Managing Editor of eCampus News, graduate of Kenyon College, and recovering victim of Parental Embarrassment Syndrome (PES).


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